Tag Archives: Gym

How Would You Handle This?

I joined a new gym a few weeks ago, and I love the gym. I do not love the way I was treated on my third trip to the gym, and I have avoided going back since. I didn’t realize how much it bothered me until I drove up to workout yesterday afternoon.

I had my gym bag and everything that I needed to workout, but I convinced myself not to go in. I didn’t want to be mocked like I was last time I was there.

While swimming a mile in the pool I was mocked by a woman who snapped a couple of pics of me on her phone. She told me that I wasn’t doing myself any good swimming that slowly, and my response to her was that I was doing a lot more than she was.

If you read my blog you know that I have endured more than my fair share of hurtful words from strangers who think I’m worthless because I’m overweight. I experienced during my first few experiences in New York City, and I didn’t go back to that gym for a long time either.

I only used my free trial a few times, and now I’m paying for a membership that’s far from inexpensive that I don’t use. I think I’ve decided to go in and cancel my membership tomorrow, but I think that sucks for a few reasons:

1. I need a gym, and this one is conveniently located. There’s a branch close to my school and one close to my apartment.

2. I can swim laps outside all year because this is Louisiana and the pools are heated. There’s a pool inside too for days like today in which it’s too cold to be outside.

3. There are Zumba classes and a lot of other classes. I loved doing Zumba and looked forward to doing it a few times a week.

4. It’s big, and the staff is really friendly.

5. There’s a lot of space to shower and get dressed after my workout which means I can do it before school too.

I have allowed myself to miss out on something positive for myself because of something negative that someone did. The easy answer is “brush it off. Go back and forget about that person.” But doing that is exhausting. Google me, and you’ll see what I have a lot of experience in “brushing it off.”

My gym should be a place where I can go and sweat like an animal without being ridiculed. It should be a safe place, shouldn’t it?

My plan is to go in tomorrow to cancel my membership and to make membership aware of why I don’t plan to go back. I think they should know even if it doesn’t matter to them.

What would you do? Would you brush it off, or would you take issue with it? How would you resolve it and convince yourself to go back?

Update: I’m not saying that I’ll abandon all gyms. I have to have one, but if I’m paying $80 per month I expect to be in a place in which I am not harassed.

Elliptical, Stairmaster and Zumba…Oh My!

I joined a new gym yesterday, and it feels good to have a place to go to workout hard.  I started with 30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 30 minutes on the Stairmaster.  The elliptical was no big deal, but I felt like a champion after completing thousands (okay, barely over 2,000) steps.

My pace was slow, but my heart was racing!  I haven’t felt that incredible in a while, and I was reminded just how important it is to have a gym to go to everyday.  I already knew, of course, but it feels good to belong somewhere again.

Following my hour of cardio I went to the weight room and worked my upper body.  I wanted to do Zumba as well so I killed some time in the brand new Ulta that is close to the gym.  OMG!  I want everything in there!

I especially want this shea sugar body scrub! 🙂 

After window shopping I went back to the gym and completed an hour of Zumba.  I cooled down on the recumbent stepper, then headed home for dinner and a hot shower.

For dinner I had taco soup that I made over the weekend.  I’ve been looking forward to planning meals and cooking soups in advance, and living in my own place has made that easier.  I don’t have to share the fridge with anyone, and I can cook to my heart’s content!

Preparing meals over the weekend has already begun motivating me to eat at home.

Soon it will be time to hit the gym again!  Today I think I’ll swim laps after Zumba before heading to class.

Life is feeling pretty fantastic right now, and I’m so utterly thankful for it.  There’s a lot coming up between the holidays, trips to see family and visits from special people, but I want to go into 2013 living a healthy life.

Are you ready for the holiday season?  What are your plans between now and the end of the year?

 

Today

Today I will step on the scale to see where I stand after a week of eating processed junk food during the hurricane.  I will exercise.   I will also make healthy choices, and I will remind myself that giving up is not an option.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that quitting is not an option, and right now I have to remind myself to fight the mindless cravings, the feelings of lethargy and defeat…I have the power to be successful, and I’m claiming it today.

How do you motivate yourself to move forward when you feel like you have failed yourself?  How do you convince yourself to try again?

 

Getting Honest About Some Things

Before I begin I have to warn you that this post might be long and scattered because I have a lot to get off my chest today, and I’m not sure where to start.

I could never put into words how much I appreciate the unwavering support that I receive here.  Many of you have been here since the beginning waiting to see me reach my goal, encouraging me to keep trying.  I love you for that, and I hope you never stop.  But right now I need to start digging out of this rut of complacency that I have been in for a lot longer than I want to admit.

Losing 100 pounds is often enough to dramatically alter the lives of those who lose it, but it’s not enough for me. I have experienced so many positive changes, but this is not a post about that.  Right now I need to figure out how to change my mindset, how to make myself move forward again in a strong, steady and powerful way.

I don’t know how to climb out of this proverbial hole that I’ve been living in.  I’ve been living comfortably with the fact that I’ve lost so much weight for so long now that it feels like I need to start over.  My past accomplishments don’t need to be forgotten, but they’re old news…really old news.  And I want to bask in some new accomplishments.

Before I continue, I’m going to ask that everyone refrain from telling me that I’m more than a number on a scale, or that I need to love myself so others will, or that I won’t be happy when I get to my goal if I can’t be happy with myself now.  I’ve heard all of that, and I understand most of it.  But let’s face some facts today.

When I look at my life I see some things that I like and some things I still want to change, but everything is overshadowed by a giant dark cloud that is the number on the scale.

I used to encourage others by saying that you don’t have to reach your goal before you start feeling good about yourself. You just have to start.  And it’s true.  I know it’s true because when I said it, I was feeling it.   Right now, what I accomplished throughout the first part of this journey is simply not enough.  I’m still obese.

I could make a list of reasons I love and respect myself today, and that list has grown more in the last year than it has at any other point in my life.  I know that I’m a good person, and I have been working through emotions that are difficult to face because I’m trying to become a better person.  There’s a lot of work going on inside my head, and that’s important to recognize (even though most of it is far too personal to discuss in such a public forum.)

But the fact remains that when I look at myself, I see the number on the scale.  We can say it doesn’t define me, but the truth is that it is me.  My body grew to its largest size because of what I did to it, and whether I like to admit it or not, my size currently defines who I am above everything else.

Look, I have a host of other imperfections as well, but my size haunts me.  It’s the truth, my truth, and the things that led me to my extreme obesity (and the snowball effect it has had since) are not easy to face.  It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong, but I’ve been wrong a lot.  I made some pretty incredible mistakes.  I mistreated my body and my loved ones, and in many ways I led a life that could never have been happy and free if I didn’t begin to face those issues.

Before I started losing weight I would always say that I was a “good investment.”  I wanted to believe it was true because surely I’d eventually mature into more than I was – a grossly overweight, unhappy, unmotivated, unsuccessful shell of a human-being who didn’t value herself enough to create any positive change in herself.  (Yeah, the truth hurts, and it’s still not easy to admit now.)  But that’s how I viewed myself.

When guilt set in I told myself that I’d do better tomorrow.  I told myself constantly that the future was filled with hope, yet I failed to give myself any reasons to be hopeful.

Fast-forward to the present: I can’t say that I’m as horribly unhappy or unmotivated now as I was prior to 2009.  As I said, I like a lot of things about my life these days, but there are still some major things I need to change.

I need to change my environment.  I prefer living alone and in a city so I am planning a move into a cute little apartment in downtown New Orleans in the Fall.  Living alone will be good for me.  Controlling what is in the pantry and the refrigerator will be good for me.  I know that, but I also realize that everything I eat now is a choice.  It’s my choice, and it’s up to me to make better decisions.  One thing I’ve noticed spending most of my time downtown is that I’m more likely to go out for food.  It will be easier when I have my own little kitchen, but I will still have to make choices.  Living alone won’t solve everything, but it will be a big leap in the right direction.

I also need to claim what I really want.  I mean, I wish I was fit and trim, but we all know that I have to do a lot more than wish to be at goal.  It looks like I’m going to have to fight a hell of a lot harder than I did when I started my journey, and I have to accept that.  End of story.

I need a routine too.  I’m always on the go, and I don’t spend a lot of time in one place.  Just in the last few months I’ve been in Colorado, Virginia, D.C., New York, Houston, etc.  And over the next couple of months I’ll be in New York again, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Dallas (maybe Oklahoma too.)  Traveling a lot means that I have to have a different game plan.  I lost weight when I traveled before so I know it’s possible, but I have to be mindful.

I’m also lacking accountability.  I left Weight Watchers again recently after another bout of frustration with PointsPlus, and now my meeting no longer exists.  Say what you will, but weighing in at meetings every week changed my life.  I need to find a new meeting and make it my highest priority again.

I’ve gotten lazy with my workouts too.  Sure, I do them occasionally, but I love working out.  I crave endorphins nearly everyday so why the hell am I not doing it?  I don’t have a gym membership anymore, but there’s nothing stopping me from joining another one.  I’ll work that out this week, but until then I will do 30-Day Shred at home at least 5 times over the next 7 days.

I could drone on for hours about why it’s hard and how it’s not fair that I have so much further to go than the average person who loses as much as I’ve lost, but lamenting the work I have to do will not bring me closer to my goal.

I still say no to myself a lot more than I say yes, but I’m not doing enough.  I know that, and I take responsibility for that.

The fact is that my actions don’t help or hurt anyone except me.  I’m surrounded by people who love me and want me to be happy and healthy, but I have to get there on my own.  I’m happier than I was at 400+ pounds, but I’m not as happy as I’ll be at 150 pounds.  And it’s not because I don’t think I don’t deserve to be happy now.  It’s because I know that I am capable of so much more.

I’m preparing a life for myself in which obesity will no longer define me.  I’m in school studying Public Relations. (Yep, I declared recently.)  And I’m dreaming of a day when I can claim what I want for myself in my career and in relationships without the worry that my body is keeping me from fulfilling my desires.

This is my reality, friends.  This is my struggle, and no one can fix it except me.  Last week I admitted that I don’t know how, and sadly, I have not found the answer yet.  The truth is I can’t imagine stepping on the scale and seeing 275 or 250, or 199.  (I could see  the first number in the next month or so, but it feels as far as Mars!)

I don’t know how I did what I did the first time.  I don’t know how to wake up every morning with purpose.  I don’t know how to convince myself that today is the day (not tomorrow.)

I feel an utter lack of confidence and an overwhelming amount of insecurity, but I know what I want today.  I know what I want for my future, and I know that it’s mine for the taking.  I also know that I don’t have to get to my goal before I can start feeling on top of the world again.  I know I just have to start moving toward it.

This is my journey, and I’m doing things on my time.  I just need to turn the clock on again, and I need to remind myself that I’m worthy of it if I’m willing to work for it.

 

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Goals and More

I’m trying hard to push forward in regards to my health, and short-term goals seem to be a great way to take steps forward.  I’m heading out at 5am for a walk/run with a group of dedicated friends from the gym in the hopes that I’ll become a morning workout fanatic.

Update: Just finished a 5k at 5am.  What a great way to start a Monday! 

I love FMM because it’s such a great way for friends to make friends, but this week it’s so much more than that for me.  This week I want to lay it all out, and I’m asking you to do the same.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Goals and More

 

1. Brag about some of your daily, healthy habits.  I drink a lot of water, and I do not drink soda of any kind.

2. Do you track your daily food intake? If so, how? I used to track my WW points, but now I track calories. I had been seriously slacking, but now I am writing it all down even when I don’t want to.

3. What do you want to change most about your daily routine?  I want to stop craving unnecessary snacks.  Some people don’t really think about food often, and I want to be like that.

4. How often do you exercise?  Several times a week.

5. How do you stay on track when you’re on the go? I don’t always do a good job of that which sucks because I’m on the go pretty often.  When I go to school I bring food so I know I’m eating something healthy, but I need to be much more diligent when I travel.

6. What’s one excuse you use that prevents you from reaching your goals?  I tell myself to worry about it tomorrow.  Sure, tomorrow is a new day, but that’s no reason to let this one go to crap because of one lousy choice.

7. What scares your most about your journey? Failing.  I mean, I guess I’ve come far enough to know that I’m not a failure, but I want to start finishing what I started.  That phrase has been resonating in my mind lately, and I’m ready to accomplish it.

8. What do you think will change most when you reach your goal? (If you have reached it, what’s different?)  I already believe in myself more than I did when I started this journey, but I think I’ll believe in myself more than I do now.

9. What motivates you to reach your goals?  I’m motivated by all kinds of things.  I want to be pretty, and I want to be accomplished.  I want to run at the speed that my brain wishes it could.  I want to wear nicer clothes and high-heels.  I want to tell the world that anything is possible and be living proof.  I want to be proud of the person I am.

10. Share a few of your goals.  I’m focusing on short-term goals right now which I’ll talk more about in a later post, but here are a few:

  • get back into an intense, heart-pounding workout groove (4-5 times per week)
  • drink at least 96 oz of water per day. (I used to drink a gallon, but I’m not sure it’s necessary. I’ll ask for opinions on that later this week too.)
  • start everyday with fruits and/or veggies
  • track my food intake
  • eat 1,200 calories or less
Now it’s your turn to fill out this week’s questions.  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments.  Happy Monday, friends!

 

Aunt Janice and the Gym

When I woke up yesterday I felt a little lethargic, and I didn’t feel particularly motivated to workout (even though I knew I would.)  I procrastinated a little bit until Aunt Janice suggested that we go for a walk.  Walks with her tend to go on for miles so I agreed.

During our walk I told her how much I enjoy circuit training at the gym.  I told her about the ladder, the metal wall, the bosu ball and planks among other things, and we decided to cut our walk short and hit the gym.

We did circuit training in two minute intervals, and we did the things I just listed in addition to tackling the rowing machine,  the KeepItUpDavid Machine, I mean StairMaster, pulling the sled around the track and working our upper bodies before relaxing in the sauna.  By the time we left the gym we were both drenched from head to toe, and it felt awesome.

I was channeling Keep It Up David during this workout.

When we started doing planks she dominated them!  She held her pose for over a minute, and I beat my own personal best reaching 18.8 seconds.  (Hey! Don’t judge me.  A little over a week ago I didn’t know I could do them at all!)

Now that I know I can plank I'm determined to make it last longer.

And one of my new favorite workouts is climbing the wall.  It doesn’t seem tough at all, but if you do it long enough it will make you sweat.  I’m definitely sore as a result of that little wall!

I can't look to the side when I get higher. 😉

Upper body....Boom!

I’ve never really been a fan of working out with someone else, but that certainly has changed recently.  I’ve done cardio workouts with friends before, but I’ve never had anyone push me until recently.  Having someone there to tell me to keep going when I think I’ve pushed as far as I can inspires me to do more, and I’m definitely looking forward to more of that.  And may I just say that I adore the sauna?  (What can I say? I love to sweat!)

I have a full day planned which will include some fun stuff, but I plan to hit it hard at the gym again this morning.  What are your plans for the day?  What kind of workout will you do?

 

 

Plus-Size Sports Bras and Activewear

When you shop in the plus-size section like I do, it can be frustrating to find workout clothes.

It’s ironic, isn’t it?  With all of the fat-shaming and “eat less, move more” crap that we hear in society you would think that there would be a larger selection of gym appropriate plus-size clothing from which to choose.  Alas, that’s not the case at all so I find myself searching online for sports bras that will support and flatter while I jump around like a maniac at the gym.  (What? I can’t be the only person who wants to feel at least mildly cute and secure when I’m working out!)

Recently, I purchased my first Reebok dri-fit set from Lane Bryant’s new exercise line, and I’ve loved it so far.  Wearing this outfit makes me feel like working out which is a cool feeling, but I workout several times a week so I need to have a little variety when I hit the gym.

Love my Reebok activewear....

I’m picky about my clothes, and most often I find myself wearing my long-sleeve Saints shirt with cotton pants that I bought for 3 bucks at Old Navy to workout.  And some days I’m fine with that, but I have been in desperate need of new sports bras so I tried a new brand this week.

Marika Sports Bra

I found these Marika sports bras on Lane Bryant’s website after spotting a similar one on a girl at the gym last week.  I ordered one in white and one with pink while they were Buy One, Get One 1/2 Off, and I also used a Lane bryant coupon code so they came to under $20 per bra.

Oops! I was making a ridiculous face, but the bra is what's important today.

After wearing my white sports bra today (with proper attire over it, of course) I have to say that I love it, and I wish I had several.  It did its job by offering support without being cumbersome like sports bras I’ve tried in the past.

I know that I need to continue to build my workout attire, but I’m happy to have found such a great foundation in these sports bras.  They are so much better than the ones I was wearing before!

What’s your favorite brand for plus-size athletic wear?  Can anyone fill me in on what I might be missing in the world of plus-size fitness apparel?

 

Reader Question: Where Do I Start?

It’s been a while since I’ve answered a reader question on my blog so today seems like a good day for it.   I’ve received so many messages from people who want to know where to start, and I know that it can be overwhelming so I’m asking for your help in answering their questions.  Take a look at this message from a lovely lady in the area, and tell me what you would suggest to help her get started on her own journey.

Hi Kenlie! I’m local and saw an article about you in the newspaper. Congratulations on your weight loss journey and for taking a stand against discrimination of overweight people. I am 280 lbs and know I need to take control of my weight. How do I even start? Moneywise, it is so much more expensive to eat healthy. I dont have the money to go to a gym. Any suggestions on getting started are greatly appreciated! Good luck on your journey!

-A

********

Hi A,

Thanks for the message. It’s nice to hear from someone local!

It sounds like we weigh almost the same right now, and I have to tell you that I’m not an expert.  With that said, I’m happy to tell you how I got started.

I lived in New York, and my first step was joining a Weight Watchers group.

Weight Watchers taught me what a serving of food should actually look like which was great because I seriously didn’t realize how much I was eating.  Seriously, even if I ate only half of my old favorite dish at Chili’s, Chicken Crispers, potatoes and corn on the cob, I’d still be eating almost an entire day’s worth of calories just in one meal.   And that’s not even including appetizers, drinks or dessert!  I could easily add another 1,000 calories to that just with chips and salsa!

Yeah, I knew I was eating more than the average woman, but Weight Watchers helped me understand just how much I was eating and how to make better choices that were still satisfying.

Add 590 calories for the loaded mashed potatoes and corn on the cob for a total of about 2,250 calories for one meal.

And speaking of empty calories I cut out soda cold turkey in 2009, and it’s by far the best thing I have ever done for my body.  It was really hard, and it sucked for months.  I told myself that I could drink one later if I really wanted to, but eventually it lost its appeal.  I remember a time in my life in which I couldn’t fathom giving up sodas, and now the thought of it is just gross.

But the eating part of healthy living is still much harder for me than the exercise part, but I’m trying to tackle it.  I started counting calories about seven weeks ago, but I still weigh-in at a local WW meeting once a month or so.  The support you receive at meetings is priceless.

And I love the gym now, but I didn’t always feel that way. When I started trying to turn things around I started walking. Seriously, I didn’t walk fast or long, but I did more than I had done previously. And as time passed it took more effort to get my heart pumping which reminded me that I was getting stronger!

In addition to walking I also bought my first Richard Simmons DVD.   I own several now, but Party Off the Pounds is still my favorite. I found my copy at Walgreens, but you can get it online here as well. And to this day it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made in fitness. I didn’t have to worry about looking ridiculous (even though I’m sure I did at first.)  And it will definitely make you sweat!

And speaking of Richard, I was on Dr. Drew's show with him last week. And out of all of the pictures I've taken with him, this is the *only* one in which we're not smiling. Of course, we were discussing a very serious issue.

So in short A, I starting with walking and aerobics worked for me, and now I love to sweat!

In regards to food, try to replace something unhealthy that you’re eating with fresh veggies. I eat a 6 cup salad for lunch most days (romaine lettuce, 1 tbsp of light Caesar and 7g of mini croutons) with chicken or salmon (on the side) or some other form of protein like egg whites.

The most important thing is just starting somewhere right now instead of waiting until tomorrow or Monday or January,  then don’t stop.  Keep trying even when it feels like you’re messing up over and over.  Most people take a few steps forward and a few back.  Don’t get discouraged, and don’t quit.

Again, I’m no expert, but I’m surrounded by them.  In my experiencethe people here know what they’re doing, and they’re always willing to help so let’s ask them.

Thanks again for reaching out, and I hope you’ll do it again soon.

Night!

Kenlie

 

So friends…What advice can you give to someone who wants to change the way they live with food and exercise?  What’s the most important step in getting started?

 

 

Exercise and Other Stuff

It’s been another action-packed 24 hours, but I’ve had some interesting experiences which included a couple of great workouts at the fancy gym.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that there’s something about that place that makes me want to workout hard.  I love it, and I’m looking forward my training session tomorrow morning.  And because working out with friends is more fun, I plan to hit the gym in the evening as well.  Planks, anyone?

She's tough, but she's fun..

Megan and I have been friends for several years, and she has never hesitated to go for the gusto!  I was exhausted after climbing the ladder, the metal wall, boxing,  running with Ty and other things, but we planked anyway.  In the photo above she’s telling commanding me to do it one more time.  My core is so sore, but it was so worth it.

I’ve done a little air boxing, but over the last few days I’ve taken it to the punching bag.  And wow! It’s such an intense cardio workout!  Who knew?  Plus, I think the pink gloves are cute.

I look tough, right? I know. 😉

So…Life has been busy, but it has also been productive.  Tomorrow is a new day, and I plan to hit it hard again at the gym.  I’m also concentrating on making good food choices which is harder for me than exercise.  What’s on your agenda?  What’s for lunch?  I’ve been obsessed with light Caesar salads lately, but I need some fresh ideas.  Help a girl out, will you please?